I hope they save those rare zoo Bengal tiger's DNA and others' too

The news says that fifty rare animals were gunned down in the past 24 hours, including eighteen rare endangered Bengal tigers. Here in the United States of America; not in some far away jungle warfare nation.

The sub-stories of the event appear to be very complex and surely tell a lot about human psychology. A huge amount can be deduced from reading the various news stories about it. I resist pointing out some obvious ones, about the assumptions made and declared truth and justification for the shooting frenzy.

A lot that many would probably not want to be exposed.

It seems to me that it would be valuable to document as much of that as possible, in unbiased unemotional terms, merely tell it like it was. If the data could be obtained, that is; most involved would be defending their actions; and probably in afterthought, defending their actions to their own selves.

(I live with a similar memory, of killing a large rattlesnake merely because it might have become a danger to others. I told my wife about seeing it, she said kill it. Is that justification? I did not think I could capture it for sure, for transporting to the wilderness. The critter was not being threatening, and was just moving along in plain sight even though it could have withdrawn to safety; it did not fear me nor was going to harm me. But I took a shovel and killed it, and it began to look alarmed by my lack of friendliness just before I struck. It haunts me still. Its presence coming from under our canyon house explained the cessation of rodent sounds in the area above the room, rodents that could have munched through wiring and caused great damage; the rattlesnake had done us a favor and was headed home. It was one of those "might have become a danger to someone" justification things.)

Such a massive event probably will never happen again; and thus could be valuable learning lessons about human behavior. Some of those lessons I suspect we don't want to know. Yet without the knowledge, how can we learn to not repeat them, when the chips are down in some other kind of unexpected spectacular event? And those will surely happen, as they have throughout history. If they had been documented and analyzed and taught from the previous episodes, perhaps those zoo-fed and raised non-hunting rare animals would still be alive today. Maybe even their owner too, although I can see why the law enforcement would have considered him a potential loose cannon, and have put the screws to him till he broke. Did the news folks notice that the zoo owner did not take his gun and wipe out a bunch of semi-random people, like seems common in the news these days, like in Seal Beach a couple of weeks ago or in Tucson? Give the guy some credit. Considering the scenario of place, he even seemed to be offering his remains to feed his cherished lions and tigers even though he no longer had money to feed them anymore, apparently, freshly out of prison. And freshly out from being caged behind prison bars for a year, what did he see the kind of life of his cherished exotic animal collection, there behind bars, unable to run free and experience life, just as he had no longer been free to fly airplanes, race boats, ride motorcycles?

And those freed lions and tigers, did they give any officer or bystander even a tiny scratch of injury? Did any of the dozens of them that were being gunned down, put up resistance? I doubt it; they were used to people bringing them food and admiring them, and now were probably quite puzzled as to what was going on.

And yet, such large feline predators loose in the night growing hungry and unpredictably baffled about what was going on and what to do about it, would have been a heavy responsibility to those supposedly protecting life and property. And although they did not have the knowledge - nor equipment, most likely - for how to safely capture such critters even in the daylight; but they did have the knowledge of how to use high powered guns to easily kill without risk to themselves.

What was Right and what was Wrong, is something I cannot judge from here. Most likely it was all just interplay of forces and situations. And surely we could learn from those forces and situations, and decisions and actions that happened for real. If all were documented without bias nor as part of "justice" preparations.

Could that be done? I doubt it, considering the probable professional psychology of those involved. So humanity is doomed to repeat lessons not learned. This time, humanity seems to have "won" but in the bigger picture, maybe not so certain.

At the very least, I hope that those animals will all quickly have tissue samples saved in 95% Ethanol and some curated by nitrogen freezing, so that given future technological advances, their DNA could maybe some day be restored to the dwindling pool of DNA of their kind. Especially of the Bengal tigers; those gunned down represent over 1% of the present entire world population of them.

Part of why this is "pushing my buttons" is because of my volunteering in natural history museum settings. Such as in a marine biodiversity processing center for a couple of years, curating specimens in ethanol. Yet also when one historical society discovered I was a volunteer both with them and at the major natural history museum of the area, I was given copies of old news articles, and was asked to see if I could get a grizzly's skin back to those who claimed it. Totally out of my arena of volunteer work, but I did learn what I could about it.

An old newspaper photo showed a lean & mean looking mustached man holding a rifle, next to a dead grizzly bear. He had killed it after he had set a bear trap chained to a heavy log, which had caught the bear and thus could not go anywhere nor attack anyone. It was titled the last grizzly bear was now killed ... nevermind that the grizzly bear is the animal on the state flag. Big hero and celebration feeding all the neighborhood bear meat barbeque in the town park. (A park I was quite familiar with, many decades later, near my apartment.) The grizzly bear's head and skin were given to the natural history museum. The museum then sent the bear's skull to experts at Berkley, who advised that it was not a species of grizzly that had ever lived anywhere in that part of the state; it had come from far north. It was quietly decided that the bear had escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo, and was wandering around foraging on the landscape, lacking a zookeeper to feed it recently, a few tens of miles from where it was caught and killed; the zoo was reported to have not fully solved the problem of containing all its charges at the time.

How similar the psychology and events. But the older story had gotten covered up a lot. And clearly the gun toters in the current news article had not learned the lesson; most likely never heard about it. "When will we ever learn?" Maybe when we get lots stronger and even far more wiser than strong.

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